(Posted April 11, 2006)

GRANTHAM, Pa. ? A pair of solid pitching performances were not enough to give the Juniata College softball team a pair of conference wins as the Eagles dropped two tight games at Messiah College Tuesday afternoon. The Eagles were kept off the scoreboard in both games as they fell by a 2-0 score in game one and then dropped game two 4-0. Juniata fell to 9-21 with the two conference losses, while Messiah raised its record to 17-11 overall and 4-4 in conference play.

All the scoring in game one came in the fifth inning. After a single and a Juniata error put runners at second and third and then both runners came home on an infield groundout from Lisa Gilchrist.

Those were the only runs the Falcons would manage off Juniata pitcher Lizzi Bartosik (Penn/Granger, Ind.) who pitched one of her best games of the season. The senior hurler went all six innings, allowing just two runs, one earned, on three hits. She fanned three Falcons hitters in the game and walked only two.

The two runs still proved to be enough as Messiah hurler Becky Croft limited Juniata to two hits through seven innings.

The Eagles mounted threats in the first and third innings but could not break through. In the first an Abby Sener (Donegal/Marietta) single put runners at first and third with two outs, but the Eagles could not get a hit to take the lead. Then in the third, a pair of Messiah errors, and a base hit from Leann Leymeister (Blue Mountain/Orwigsburg) loaded the bases with just one out. But Croft got a strike out and then a pop-out to get out of the jam.

In game two Lana Trotter and Croft combined to shutout the Eagles for the second time as Juniata was held to three hits in suffering the 4-0 set-back.

Messiah got a run in the first off Juniata starter Renae Hobbs (Mount Union/Mount Union) and then would add single runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. The Falcons knocked out 10 hits in the game, and were also helped by five walks.

Hobbs was charged with the loss for Juniata as she went all six innings, allowing the four runs on 10 hits.

Juniata?s best chance came in the sixth inning as the Eagles threatened to cut into the Falcons lead as the Eagles loaded the bases on a pair of walks and a hit batter. But Croft then came on in relief and got a groundout to end the threat.

Leymeister led Juniata with a pair of hits in the game, while Tara Carl (Otto-Eldred/Duke Center) also had a base hit.

Juniata returns to action on Thursday with another conference doubleheader as the Eagles host Elizabethtown.


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Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.